Ilse Mariën, Pieter Ballon and Wendy Van den Broeck (imec-SMIT and VUB) have won a KVAB Annual Prize for Science Communication for the DataBuzz, a project that aims to increase digital literacy among teachers and pupils.
The DataBuzz is a fully electric bus that has been converted into a mobile education lab. The bus is equipped with various new digital technologies, which are incorporated into a series of interactive teaching packages. During workshops, participants are introduced in a playful way to concepts such as online privacy and protection of personal data. They learn how personalised advertising works, how to recognise fake news and how algorithms determine our lives.
3 VUB researchers praised for digital literacy initiative
Today, the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium (KVAB) honours the initiative with an Annual Prize for Science Communication. The KVAB presents these awards each year to scientists with exceptional merit in science communication. The jury was impressed by the efforts made to reach target groups through accessible language and attractive workshops aimed at a wide audience.
With the support of the Flemish Community Commission (VGC), the DataBuzz is visiting Dutch-speaking schools and playgrounds in Brussels to offer accessible and interactive workshops on data literacy, tailored to the needs of children and young people, free of charge. In addition, as part of the Everyone Data Literate! project and supported by the Digital Belgium Skills Fund, DataBuzz also offers free workshops in adult education centres, centres for basic education and other training centres for illiterate adults throughout Flanders. Of course, all workshops and demo sessions comply with coronavirus safety measures.
Minister Sven Gatz, responsible for Dutch-speaking education and school building in the VGC: “It’s great that VUB’s DataBuzz, which we support, has won the KVAB Annual Prize for Science Communication. I think it’s excellent that our pupils in Brussels schools and playgrounds will receive free interactive workshops tailored to their needs in order to become more digitally literate. As a former Flemish media minister, I know there is a great need among young people and the less well-literate to learn to protect your privacy better online or to recognise fake news. That is why it is also good that the bus will stop at adult education and training centres for adults in Flanders as well.”
Source: VUB Press